The Sales Messaging Playbook that Converts Prospects to Conversations
Sales messaging is a vital part of a sales reps’ daily work. It’s how they engage with prospects and it can make a big difference in their results. While the perfect sales message will connect and engage the buyer (eventually leading to a sale), a weak sales message will just be ignored, or worse, will damage the reputation of your company.
In this article and episode of the Modern Marketing Engine podcast, Mario Martinez Jr., CEO, and Founder at Vengreso, was featured as a guest where he discusses what marketing and sales leaders need to know about sales messaging and some actionable tips you can start implementing today. Plus, he announced a new tool Vengreso created to help sellers, business owners and sales team deploy a consistent message throughout the sales organization.
Now, it is self-evident that sales messaging is crucial for sellers, but why is sales messaging important for marketers?
Mario says that marketers should be supporting the sales team with all of the right messaging, from the Go-To-Market messaging to the messaging to engage with buyers, including messages for social media and sales enablement content such as playbooks, sales cadences, case studies, ebooks, blogs and the like.
At the end of the day, there is just one type of messaging: messaging designed to attract your buyer, not sales or marketing messaging.
Today, the modern marketer is more integrated in the sales ecosystem than EVER before, so it’s imperative that marketers have a defined sales messaging strategy.I believe in the importance of #ModernMarketers in the sales ecosystem and that's why they should have a defined #SalesMessaging strategy. Great @mmenginepodcast ep @M_3jr and @BernieBorges #GoFlyMSG Click To Tweet
Things Every Sales Messaging Strategy Needs
Automation in sales and B2B marketing has made life easier for our teams in many regards. But it also has reduced a lot of the personal touch we used to have in sales messaging.
That’s why at Vengreso, we teach our sellers to leverage personalization and hyper-personalization in all their sales messages. In fact, we created a sales methodology with the foundation of hyper-personalization. It’s called the PVC Sales Method, which stands for Personalization, Value, and Call to Action.
The PVC Sales Methodology focuses on how to prospect, from the “pre-hello” to the “hello.” The purpose of this methodology is to help salespeople who are having a hard time connecting with potential customers, create more conversations with their targeted buyers.
And the best thing is that the PVC sales methodology can be used in inbound or outbound sales when writing an email, a text message, a LinkedIn message, or making a phone call or video conference via Zoom. No matter the medium, every effective sales messaging strategy needs to be personalized, valuable, and contain the appropriate call to action for the situation.
“Sales messaging should be structured around PVC to attract our buyers, not detract or distract them,” Mario says. “Never before has the buyer been so digitally connected, socially engaged, mobile-attached, and video hungry. And salespeople must be as well, becoming video producers to create engaging video messages.”
Mario says that in the new normal, sellers will be remote 60% of the time. In fact, according to Gartner’s Future of Sales research, by 2025 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. Why? Because 33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience (44% for millennials).
There is no going back to a sales rep that is 100% of the time in the field. That’s why we must teach sellers social selling skills, including how to personalize their messaging, bring value and add the right CTAs to their sales messages.That's right! We have to teach #sellers how to personalize their messaging, bring value, and add the right CTAs to their #sales messages. Loved the PVC and the app in this @mmenginepodcast ep w/ @m_3jr and @bernieborges Click To Tweet
Now, let’s look at the PVC components in more detail.
Components that Every Sales Messaging Framework Should Have
Let’s talk about each of the components of your sales messaging framework:
P – Personalization
V – Value
C – Call-to-Action
Personalization is more than just using the prospect’s first name. If possible, sellers should take the time to research the prospect’s social networks and find shared experiences or recent events or news related to the prospect’s company that they can mention in the sales prospecting message.
When creating a sales messaging strategy (whether cold calling scripts or video messages) make sure the sales message brings value to the conversation. Adding value may sound like a cliche, but we must realize that each buyer has an individual business pain, and if our messaging speaks to that particular pain, we’ll have a greater chance of getting through.
So, how do you bring value? With content that helps solve their problems, especially related to the solution you are selling. It can be a webinar, a report or a relevant blog article. Provide value instead of just asking for a meeting.
Instead of asking for a meeting, add a call to action that keeps the sales conversation going, such as asking a question for them to respond or inviting them to an event.
Check out the following video to see the PVC sales methodology in action.
Sales-Ready Messaging vs. Marketing Messaging
What’s the difference between a sales-ready message and a marketing message?
Marketing messaging is generally one-to-many. For example, marketing will create an email drip campaign to take leads, convert them to MQLs, then to SQLs and finally hand them over to the sales organization.
Sellers do the same thing but instead of one-to-many, they do it one-to-one. That is why sellers have to deliver hyper-personalized messages. Marketing can’t create messages in the same way.
Marketing messaging is focused on the buyer persona, trying to hit the pains of that persona. In sales-ready messaging, this can also be the case if the seller doesn’t have enough information to personalize the messages, as in a cold email or cold call. But the ideal sales-ready message is hyper-personalized to the individual, not the buyer persona.
The seller must be able to find out details about the prospect, such as interests, particular needs, and other background information. For example, when Vengreso sellers reach out to sales leaders, they do it through video, holding a whiteboard and writing the prospect’s name on the board.
They find bits of information to use in their sales-ready messages such as an interesting LinkedIn post or a recent promotion. That way, they can personalize their messages with phrases like “I saw that you posted….” or “Congratulations on your recent promotion to…”
Now, who’s responsible for writing these sales messages?
Marketers usually cringe at the idea of a seller writing a message. And, in general, you don’t want salespeople writing messages if they are not writers, as it would take them too long to write and may not be as good as the text from a trained copywriter.
Mario says that the responsibility for writing these messages falls on the shoulders of the Sales Enablement team — or if you don’t have one, the marketing team. “But the marketing team must be in tune with what is happening in the field before writing. We have our marketing team listen to sales calls weekly so they can structure sales messaging. They must understand the sales process in order to create messaging that attracts buyers and sells more.”Great insights from @M_3jr and @bernieboges in this @mmenginepodcast ep. The marketing team must be in tune with what is happening in the field before writing and be aligned with sales to create messaging that attracts buyers. Click To Tweet
What is a Sales Message vs. a Product Message?
Another important distinction we must make is between a sales message and a product message. In short, while a sales message includes the PVC components discussed above, a product message centers around features and functions.
Product messaging should always reside inside of marketing. The idea is to take the features and what the products do and translate them into benefits, into how they solve real-world problems.
Sellers are usually trained on products to attract a potential customer, but they are sometimes not trained in communicating how the product solves actual problems.
From our experience, if you were to ask 100 sales reps at a company to tell in one sentence what business problem they solve for their customer (the value proposition), 80% would not be able to answer consistently. Marketing must be able to articulate in one sentence the business problem that the company solves and sales leaders should make sure their sellers know it well so that they are all communicating the same message.
For example, at Vengreso we know that VPs of Sales have two common problems: a) they want to increase the number of sales conversations that their sellers are having and b) increase their sales pipeline.
So, a message to that buyer persona (if the seller doesn’t have details to personalize the messaging to the individual) would start by asking if they have one of those two problems. If the answer is “no,” they would just stop reading. If the answer is “yes,” they’ll continue reading. In that case, the sales-ready message should provide value before introducing the solution.
For example, the sales-ready message could say:
If you have any of those two problems, here are two resources that can help you out:
- I encourage you to watch this webinar [ADD LINK] with your team in your next one-hour call. It will take you through two things your sellers can do right now to create more sales conversations on LinkedIn.
- Read this blog article [ADD LINK], which tells you five things you can do to improve your sales video messages.
Do you see what we are doing here? We are providing value, which is what a good sales message will do. Once a conversation is started with the prospect, product messaging comes in. That’s when the seller goes deep to explain the product features and translate those features into business benefits.
How to Develop Sales Messages
The PVC method will help you develop your sales messaging with the right elements. But how do you deploy those messages so your team can use them?
Usually, the marketing team would create a “42-page document” with the messaging, upload it to a local server or the internet and send the link to the sales team for them to use. The reality is that most sellers will not use that document.
That is why we created a sales productivity and sales messaging tool called FlyMSG.
FlyMSG is a text expander tool under the sales prospecting tools category. This Chrome extension helps marketers and sellers improve their productivity and efficiency by letting them expand pre-written communication templates and messages for use in their daily digital communication. Or as we like to say it: “Type less. Sell more.”
FlyMSG solves these three real-life problems:
- Allows sales and marketing professionals to write complete messages, emails, LinkedIn connection requests and more using only a short and simple shortcut (FlyCut), leaving more time to focus on the needs of the customer.
- Increases the reach of sellers in their pipeline, allowing them to focus more on selling and less on administrative tasks.
- Uses a centralized repository of each user’s best, templatized messages (FlyPlates), creating unity in each user’s overall messaging.
A large portion of our PVC Sales Methodology templates is inside of FlyMSG for free to download. FlyMSG is the only text expander tool that allows you to add images, video, rich text format, hyperlinks, as well as categorize your templates.
Mario says that with a corporate account, a marketing team can own the creation and distribution of a company’s sales messaging. “Marketing can write the messages, add the templates to FlyMSG and make them available to all sellers,” Mario says. “Then, all sellers have to do is type the shortcut (FlyCut) and the message will automatically expand, ensuring usage, adoption and consistency in all sales messaging across the sales organization.”
Mario gives the example of a FlyCut he created called -bookameeting which he created to expand automatically to a pre-written sentence inviting someone to book a meeting with him with his calendar link included. It’s a huge time saver since he uses it often.
Add FlyMSG to Chrome now and try it yourself. It’s FREE.
The Best Sales Message to Use
As much as I hate to use them, cold messages to a buyer are a must when you can’t “warm up the buyer first”.
I’m often asked, “what are some of the best sales messages out there that will get my buyer’s attention?” The term “best sales message” is relative because there really is no “best” sales message. There are only messages that resonate with buyers that will either:
- Solicit sales engagement
- Give you the cold-shoulder
There is very little in-between. And in order for you to hit your sales forecast, you’ll want to make sure you incorporate the above into your sales plan to teach your sellers how to use sales message templates correctly.
With that in mind, we do have a sales message we teach our sales training students to use when there is no other way to engage with a buyer. But there is a science behind using this message. And while it’s available as a free sales script inside of FlyMSG (click on the banner below to install the free sales messaging tool), you need to understand the sales methodology behind it.
Here is what we use as the best sales message for cold prospecting when we do NOT have the ability to personalize to the individual.
Hi PROSPECTFIRSTNAME! The majority of INSERT YOUR BUYER’S FUNCTION (i.e. Sales) leaders we speak to have X common problems they are trying to solve:
- INSERT PROBLEM 1
- PROBLEM 2
Attached are two items that have helped your peers address these problems.
The first is a BLOG/WHITEPAPER/INFOGRAPHIC/EBOOK that answers the question: INSERTQUESTION
The second is a X-min VIDEO/WEBINAR which addresses INSERT BUSINESS BUYER’S CHALLENGE.
May I suggest a 30-minute meeting where I can then share additional insights on how other companies are solving these problems?
I am available on –
1. MM/DD @ H am
2. MM/DD @ H pm
3. MM/DD @ H pm
Alternatively, to avoid email scheduling volleyball, feel free to click here INSERTCALENDARLINK and find a time that matches your calendar.
Please let me know which option works best for you. I look forward to speaking with you.
So click below to install FlyMSG and start selling more.
The Sales Message that Drives Referrals
Vengreso has mastered and taught a two-step sales messaging process to sellers around the world to generate referrals. The result of the referral sales messages ultimately helps revenue producers and BDRs to book more meetings and grow the sales pipeline.
Part 1 requires you to leverage LinkedIn Premium or LinkedIn Sales Navigator to find mutual and or shared connections. Part 2 requires you to assess which mutual connection of your target buyer responded back most favorably and then to leverage them through LinkedIn or sales email.
Here are the two steps required to draft the perfect sales referral message:
Look at your target buyer and assess mutual connections. Reach out to at least three of those mutual connections at one time and ask all of them for a favor. That is, IF they know they buyer would they be willing to make an introduction. If during the first round of contacting three people you don’t get a positive response, try again. Reach out to three more mutual connections. What your sifting for is the person that says yes AND has the strongest relationship. The worst that someone can say is “No.”
Here is what that sample referral sales message would look like:
Instructions: Customize the parts in all CAPS.
- Hey POTENTIALREFERRERSFIRSTNAME! I hope all is well. In reviewing LinkedIn, I noticed you are directly connected to PROSPECTSFIRSTNAME LASTNAME – INSERT PROSPECTS LINKEDIN URL. I was wondering if you know them well enough that you’d be willing to introduce the two of us? If you do, I will provide you a separate introduction message via LinkedIn or email that you could use to easily make the introduction. I appreciate any insight you may have related to PROSPECTSFIRSTNAME or any help you can offer. Thanks again.
Typical positive responses might look something like these:
- Happy to make the intro but my relationship is not strong.
- Sure! I’ve known PROSPECTSFIRSTNAME for a long time. Send me a message and I’ll broker the introduction
Whatever the positive response remember you’re assessing who has the “best” or “strongest” relationship. When you do find that one person then you’ll want to lead with part two of the referral sales message. What we’ve included below is a real example so you can see it in action.
Clearly you’ll want to customize to the situation, relationship, and person.
Instructions: Customize the parts in all CAPS or ITALICS.
- Hey REFERRERSFIRSTNAME! Thanks for offering to connect PROSPECTSFIRSTNAME AND LASTNAME and me. I really appreciate it. I’ve created a message for you to copy and paste from below. Please either copy me on the LinkedIn message or via INSERTYOUREMAIL. Upon follow-up or additional correspondence, I’ll remove your name from the distribution to avoid flooding your inbox. Thanks for agreeing to make an introduction!
- Hi PROSPECTSFIRSTNAME! – I hope things are going well. I’d like to introduce you to a partner I trust and have enjoyed working with. INSERTYOURNAME helped create a solution for my last organization that netted a 130% ROI (OR STATE HOW YOU HELPED THE REFERRER). It appears they may also have some great ideas to help you and your organization. I’ve copied INSERTYOURNAME on this message. I understand you both have a couple of things in common (IF APPLICABLE INSERT SOMETHING IN COMMON: i.e., CAL grads). They would like to set up a meeting with you for 30 minutes. I’d encourage you to carve out some time to meet.
- YOURFIRSTNAME please meet PROSPECTSFIRSTNAME, and PROSPECTSFIRSTNAME please meet YOURFIRSTNAME! I’ll let you two take it from here. Thanks so much!
Watch this sales training video to see the Digital Sales Referral Message in action: